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Tommy Sands

The Drugstore's Rockin': A Big Date With Tommy Sands

Review by Gary Hill

This collection of music from a rocker who was seen as potentially becoming competition to Elvis Presley is rather a mixed bag. For me some of the more rocking things are among the better tunes here. I think there is also too much music to allow some of the lesser tracks to real stand out like they should. Still, there are some particularly bright moments along the road.

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Track by Track Review
Is It Ever Gonna Happen
I really dig the rock and rolling vibe on this. The piano gets a chance to show off, and the song has a cool energy and hooks.
Ring My Phone
More guitar centric, this is another cool rock and roller. I prefer the opener, but this works better.
The Worryin' Kind
Slower and more contemplative, this one works well, too. It also brings some variety. It's another that's more guitar based.
This Chuck Berry romp gets more of a piano-oriented arrangement. There is a rocking guitar solo, though,
Every Little Once in a While
This rock and roller has some good hooks. I'm not overly crazy about the doo-wop backing vocals. Those are really not my thing, though, so that makes sense.
Blue Ribbon Baby
There is a bit of a rockabilly angle to this one. It's more pure rock and roll, but those kinds of elements are audible at times to me.
Hearts of Stone
I really love the horn-solo dominated instrumental break on this tune. It swings and has a great groove to it. The doo-wop vocals on the track don't work as well for me. Overall, this is not a big surprise, but a reasonably effective piece.
Hey Miss Fannie
Now, this has some great energy. It's a fun romp.
Playin' the Field
The vocals are very much the dominant factor here. The guitar is the only prominent instrument here. This feels almost like a demo in some ways. The guitar solo is strong, though. The mix just feels a little "wrong" to me.
The Chicken and the Hawk
Now, this is more like it. It's just a fun romp with plenty of jazz and rock and roll in the mix.
Man Like Wow!
This is more of a stripped back groove, but it's a lot of fun.
Wicked Woman
I really dig the guitar and drum presence on this piece. It has a real twisting kind of groove. Some parts are just guitar and vocals, though.
Soda Pop Pop
There is some real drama in the musical arrangement of this. The doo-wop vocal arrangement isn't as effective for me, though.
Another with a lot of doo-wop in the mix, this isn't a strong tune for me. Still, the guitar solo has some style and taste.
Oop Shoop
As you can probably guess from the title, this is another doo-wop tune. While I'm not crazy about the vocal arrangement, the number does have a classy groove. The saxophone solo is on fire, too.
Big Date
Not a big change, this is just another solid rock and roller.
I Ain't Gettin' Rid of You
I really dig the piano on this cut. The track has some cool guitar work, too. This is dramatic and one of the stronger pieces here.
Gonna Get a Girl
Doo-wop, jazz and rock and roll all seem to merge on this number.
The Old Oaken Bucket
There is a real crooner vibe to this. It is fun, but not a standout for me.
One Day Later
More of a solid rock and roller, this works pretty well. I dig the piano and guitar showcase later along the road.
Tweedle Dee
This is a swinging number that works really well. It's got some rather doo-wop vocals, but the whole vibe of the tune makes it work.
Bigger Than Texas
Another old school rock and roller, this works pretty well, but it's not a standout.
Can't Change My Love
I like the guitar sound on this quite a bit. The tune isn't an Earth-shattering kind of thing, but it has a cool retro groove.
Should I
Crooner meets doo-wop here. This brings some variety, but isn't all that effective for me. The instrumental break does have some killer blowing horn, though.
A Bundle of Dreams
Here we get another classy rock and roller. This is fun stuff.
Hawaiian Rock
This is sort of just the kind of rock and roll number, you'd expect with that title. It's not a bad song, but noting all that special, either.
Your Daddy Wants to Do Right
This has more of a pure rock and roll groove. The rhythm section has a lot of style, and the whole tune works well. This is one of the strongest songs of the album for me.
Little Mama
Another classy and classic sounding rock and roller, this is fun stuff.
Goin' Steady
I really love the guitar soloing on this. Beyond that, it's a pretty standard rock and roller.
Teenage Doll
Here we get more of a rock and roll ballad with a definite doo-wop angle. This definitely doesn't work that well for me.
Rock Light
More pure rock and roll, I really like the guitar solo on this a lot.
Who Baby
Doo-wop rock and roll, this is pretty much exactly what you expect.
Honey Love
This is a playful groove. It's a fun romp.
Doctor Heartache
Now, this is all class. I love the dramatic arrangement. The organ is a nice touch, and the whole tune just works so well. It has almost an Animals vibe to it. This is definitely another highlight of the disc.
I Love You Because
This ballad doesn't work as well as the last couple tunes did.
Teen-Age Crush
Another that's a little lackluster, I think this song and the last should have been somewhere earlier in the set to make for a stronger closer. This isn't anything all that unexpected or strong. It has some good guitar picking, though.
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